Even after Sunday’s tough loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the Philadelphia Eagles are still alive in the playoff hunt and chase for the NFC East division championship.
That’s right, the last-place 4-9-1 Eagles still have a legitimate shot at the playoffs. It’s not a great shot, but legit, nonetheless.
Here’s a look at how the Eagles can make the NFL Playoffs.
Eagles Still Have a Chance at Winning NFC East, Making Playoffs
All these things need to happen in order for the Eagles to win the NFC East and make the playoffs:
1. The Eagles Must Win Out
The Playoffs aren’t happening if the Eagles lose another game. They’re 2 games behind Washington in the standings. So, it’ll take at least 6 wins to win the NFC East. The Birds have 2 games remaining in the regular season:
- Dec. 27 – at Dallas (4:25 p.m.)
- Jan. 3 – vs. Washington (1 p.m.)
Winning those 2 games gives Philadelphia a 6-9-1 record for the regular season. And sadly, that could be enough to get them in the playoffs.
2. Washington Can Not Win
The “Football Team” can not win another game. Luckily, for the Birds, Washington is the Week 17 opponent, so their destiny could be in their own hands. However, Carolina MUST defeat Washington in Week 16 (Dec. 27, 1 p.m.). If Washington beats the Panthers, the Birds playoff chances are shot.
Assuming Washington loses to Carolina, the Eagles must beat them in Week 17.
In Week 1, the Birds held a 17-0 lead on Washington only to lose the game, 27-17.
It’s safe to assume that Washington will be favored to beat the Panthers (4-10) on Sunday.
3. Dallas and New York Can’t Win More Than 1 Game
With 5-9 records, it’s hard to imagine either the Cowboys or Giants winning out the rest of the season. But if we’re suggesting the Eagles win out and win the division, anything is possible at this point.
So, in order for the Eagles to win the NFC East, the Cowboys and Giants can do no better than a 1-1 record in the final 2 weeks of the season. They play each other (at New York, Jan. 3, 1 p.m.) in Week 17. That really puts the focus on their Week 16 games.
Dallas plays the Birds in Philly on Sunday evening. If the Eagles beat Dallas – which they have to do – Dallas could beat the Giants in Week 17 and the Birds could still win the division.
The Giants play at Baltimore on Sunday (1 p.m.). Let’s just assume that’s a big L for New York. Even if New York does pull off the upset and, assuming the Eagles take care of their business with Dallas, the Cowboys would only have to beat the Giants in Week 17 to keep the Eagles hopes of making the playoffs alive.
4. Carson Wentz Can’t Play QB
OK, this one isn’t really a must-have but after Sunday, it’s become obvious that Carson Wentz is not the quarterback of the future for the Birds.
In just 2 starts, Jalen Hurts has beaten one of the best teams in the NFL and got the team in a position to win on Sunday at Arizona. Just like the other times when Wentz was sidelined, the Eagles look like a completely different – much better – team when someone other than #11 is behind center.
So … to recap, here’s what needs to happen in order for the Eagles to remarkably make the NFL Playoffs this season:
- Philly needs to go 2-0 over the final 2 weeks
- Washington needs to go 0-2 over the final 2 weeks
- Dallas and New York can do no better than 1-1.
If those things happen, the final standings would look like this in the NFC East:
- Philadelphia: 6-9-1
- Washington: 6-10
- New York: 6-10
- Dallas: 6-10